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Take Five With Graham Ling

Take Five With Graham Ling
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Meet Graham Ling:
Classically trained from an early age, I wondered through the '80s not knowing what to listen to or play. Grunge happened to me in a big way, and I rocked throughout my twenties, but come my thirties I was looking for something as challenging as classical but with the raw emotion of rock music. It was then I discovered jazz, or rather, when a stranger approached me after a gig in Stonehaven and said that he would love to play saxophone on some of the blues numbers I played and lent me his Real Book.

From then on I was hooked. Ken and I became the KG Influence, which compliments my solo performances; more recently, I've been in-demand as a singer for established jazz bands such as Cindy Douglas Quartet, Lewis Benzies Group and Jazz Attic.

Instrument(s):
Voice, guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?
Chet Baker, Wes Montgomery, Herb Ellis and Ella Fitzgerald.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I saw Meat Loaf on the TV; no, really!

Your sound and approach to music:
Less is more—play from the heart

Your teaching approach:
Practice, practice, practice. You wouldn't believe how many people ask me for the short cuts.

Your dream band:
Everyone has something different to contribute. I often learn really good ideas and lessons from people who aren't considered good musicians.

Favorite venue:
The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen has a good crowd who are there for the jazz. Borsalino Restaurant. Peterculter—diners are often surprised that they like jazz.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
The best is yet to be recorded. Most of my recordings are live but I will attempt some studio recordings next year.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Bringing jazz to people who didn't realize they like jazz.

Did you know...
I'm also an amateur actor.

CDs you are listening to now:
Pat Martino, Remember (Blue Note);
Chet Baker, Chet Sings and Plays the Great Ballads.

Desert Island picks:
Alvin Atkinson and the Sound Merchants, HarlemRa;
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue; Wes Montgomery, The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Ready for a comeback.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Supporting your local jazz scene<.p>

What is in the near future?
Getting better gigs and playing with more jazz musicians.

Stonehaven Beer Festival: November 3 and 5, 2011;
Borsalino Restaurant: every Saturday;
The Lemon Tree: November 27, 2011 (with Jazz Attic).

By Day:
Project Manager.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be another style of musician.


Photo Credit
Courtesy of Graham Ling

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